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Val Sesia

Posted: Thu May 13, 2004 10:11 am
by dave
With snow (practically) still falling in the Alps, do you think there will be enough water in Val Sesia at the end of June to make it worth the hop over from Briancon?

Last year we stopped off at about the same time on our way from Briancon to Landeck but it was too dry for anything to run.

Val Sesia

Posted: Thu May 13, 2004 2:03 pm
by Dr Robin
I'm not really an expert on Val Sesia, but no one else has replied so I'll tell you what I know.

I've just got back from Val Sesia. Levels are currently good (but you probably know that already from looking at the photos of the teva event). While I was there it rained A LOT which I think was falling as snow on the hills. In fact there was still plenty of snow at the get-ins high up the valley.

However, the runs high up the valley (Egua, upper Sermenza, Gronda) are very tight, and would become bony if there was much less water. I'd be very surprised if they were still running in late June. You'll probably find some stuff to do on the Sesia or maybe the lower Sermenza if you're lucky, but this isn't really what Val Sesia is famous for, so is it worth it?

val sesia

Posted: Thu May 13, 2004 5:22 pm
by neilfarmer
Dr Robin, was it worth the trip?

Fancy going out there and other areas in Piedmont next easter (school holidays). I know that it might be cold, but if there is enough water .... I am going! Where are the photos posted from the Teva event, when is it held?

Also, one summer, we moved from Briacon to Austria, stopped for two nights in Val Sesia, beautiful valley, worth the trip, we ran the Sesia gorge and lower sesia. Both fun trips.

Cheers, Neil.

Val Sesia

Posted: Fri May 14, 2004 1:27 pm
by Dr Robin
It certainly was worth the trip. The creekin' in Val Sesia is world class, no question about it. I'm already thinking about going again next year. We did the Egua, the Gronda, the lower Mastallone, the upper and lower Sermenza, and the Sesia from Boccorio all the way down to the Gorge. All of the above were spectacular runs. Check out our pictures at:
carl-and-lizzie.fotopic.net/c173083.html

The Teva event is held in early may. This year it was done on the Gronda and the Egua. See the write-up at:
playak.com/article.php?sid=468

We arrived on April 24th, and levels were good. By the looks of the photos, levels were still good for the Teva event. Late April to early May seems to be the season.

Believe me, you have NOT done Val Sesia justice by paddling the Sesia gorge and the lower Sesia. If you liked those sections, you'll be BLOWN AWAY by the stuff higher up the valley.

N.B. I've no idea how good a paddler you are, so I'll just say that some members of our party didn't get on the water very much. Make sure you do plenty of runs on fairy glen before you go!

Water levels in June/July

Posted: Fri May 14, 2004 1:40 pm
by Stronze
Hi,

Some years ago (ahem), we did the hop over to Val Sesia, and did much of the same list that Robin mentioned, in mid to late June. there was plenty of water for the main runs, and the Sesia topolino event was called off due to too much of the stuff, but was a top laugh. It'll probably require some rain to bring some of the larger sections up, but if there is snow up the valley and warmer weather I think the tighter runs will have plenty.

Neil

Re: Val Sesia

Posted: Fri May 14, 2004 3:22 pm
by Mark R
I've considered going a few times, but found info really tricky to find. What would be great would be a few notes if you would be so good as to jot them down...rivers, grades, access points, general points about the area.

Any chance? Obviously I'll post it up in the 'reports' section.


-----------Mark Rainsley

Val Sesia

Posted: Fri May 14, 2004 4:17 pm
by Dr Robin
Info IS tricky to find, someone really needs to write a decent guidebook to the area. Apparently, the neighbouring valleys also have good creeks, such as the Chiusella, and the runs near Laggio Maggiore. As I say, I spent one week in Val Sesia, so I'm NOT an authority on the area. But I'll tell about the runs I did, which will hopefully give you an impression of the place.

We stayed in the campsite at Campertogno, which is surrounded by beautiful scenery. The place is well set up for boating, with plenty of maps available, and even signposts and little changing rooms at the more popular get-ons. The runs we did were:

River: Sesia from Mollia to Scopello
Grade: 3/4/4+(5)(6)
Description: Medium volume run, varied in difficulty, with some ugly holes and 2 ugly falls.
Advice: Watch out for the pushy section below Piode!

River: Gronda. Drive to Rassa and then walk up as far as you like from there.
Grade: 4/5
Description: Ridiculously steep low volume creek, with some classic slides and drops.
Advice: Allow a plenty of time to do this run, as it requires a lot of inspection. (Continue into the Sorba if you like, but don't go into the gorge of doom.)

River: Egua. Section from road bridge to Molino.
Grade: 5
Description: Insanely steep low volume creek with mind-blowing slabs and drops. A gem.
Advice: A lot of inspection required. Also, it's quite cold this high up the valley.

River: Lower Mastallone, 6 km section from Bocciolaro to Varallo.
Grade: 4(5+)
Description: Reasonably straightforward creek (apart from the 5+) with a beautiful sheer-sided gorge section.
Advice: Inspect the gorge before getting on! (Upper sections of Mastallone looked a bit bony when we were there.)

River: Sesia gorge
Grade: 4/4+(5)(6)
Description: Short run, varied in difficulty, with a awkward portage.
Advice: Pushy in high water.

River: Lower Sermenza, from a km above Boccioleto to Balmuccia.
Grade: 4/5(6)
Description: The km or so above Boccioleto is tough, and requires much inspection, and probably at least 2 portages. Below Boccioleto the run eases into a section of 4/4+(5). As you enter the gorge in Balmuccia the difficulty increases again with some pushy 4+.
Advice: If you haven't much time or energy, get in at Boccioleto.

River: Upper Sermenza, from San Giuseppe to Rimasco.
Grade: 4/5(6)
Description: Very tight steep creek, with some lovely drops and slides.
Advice: Most of the hardest rapids are hiden from the road! Also, put in just below San Giuseppe to avoid portaging a horrible 6.

River: Sesia from Boccorio to Mollia
Grade: 4/4+(5)(6)
Description: Pushy medium volume creek which requires concentration.
Advice: Check out the rapids at Mollia as you drive up!

Italy

Posted: Fri May 14, 2004 5:18 pm
by Yonfan
I'm off here next week. Well looking forward to it seeing the photos and hearing the descriptions.

I'll try and make some notes to add to the ones above.

Where you out there recently??! What's the weather like out there at the momment??!

Cheers

Jon

Re: Val Sesia

Posted: Fri May 14, 2004 6:30 pm
by Steve B
Dr Robin> " 3/4/4+(5)(6)"

I won't hijack your thread with a discussion about the grading system - but I could have ;-)

Steve B.

val sesia

Posted: Fri May 14, 2004 7:57 pm
by neilfarmer
Right, I am convinced.

Will have to be a visit there at the start of April, unless the School has sacked me or the local authority has offered 30 years enhancement on my pension (they are offering 10 just now)!

If there is no water, can always drive to Austria (cooler) where things like the Brandenburger will be going high, or Slovenia, or some of the runs near the Verdon.

Like Mark, there seems to be a derth of information about the area. A friend was there a couple of years ago, he emailed me some info, will did it out and post it here as well.

Great pictures and thanks for the info, Dr Robin!
Edited by: neilfarmer at: 5/14/04 7:59 pm

Re: val sesia

Posted: Fri May 14, 2004 9:55 pm
by Mark R
Great stuff, really helpful.

I once asked a well-known proboater type who runs trips out there for info, his helpful suggestion was 'buy one of my trips'.


-----------Mark Rainsley

sermenza ........

Posted: Sat May 15, 2004 1:23 pm
by kayakjames
If you happen to spot a pair of blue/white werner cranks floating down the sermenza when u ro out there do me a favour and fish them out ;-)

James
leyxjrc@nottingham.ac.uk

Val sesia

Posted: Sat May 15, 2004 6:44 pm
by neilfarmer
What were your experiences then James?
When were you there?
What rivers did you run?

Italy

Posted: Sun May 16, 2004 2:09 am
by neilfarmer
Stuart said....
".... then I headed to Sesia, or rather (Lago Magorie) which has some of the best kayaking that I have done anywhere, all class 4-5........ paddled one river called the "Val Sorba", classed as 5-6 in a German guidebook, was the equivalent to a Scottish 4-5 Classic. Canobino (Class5 canyon) with some rapids that you cannot portage, you cannot look at, brilliant. Also the Vercaszca in Switzerland, clearest / cleanest water anywhere."

From some Calendars that I have (can post pictures/descriptions if anyone wants them)

Magliasina
East of Lake Maggiore, flows into Lake Lugano near Magliaso. Put in at the road bridge between Breno and Aranno. Some portages, hard lower canyon mentioned. Graded as "Extreme White water".

San Giovanni, Tessin.
This is called the "Standard Section"!
Grade 5, 4km.
Put in, last road bridge before Scareno, directly at a set of falls (pictured in the calendar).
Take out, at large weir 100m above turn off to Intragna.
says that it is a small ravine with many drops (one of 6m that should be run hard left) some of which cannot be portaged.

Also noticed, that if you return through Austria/Germany, will pass nearby Plattling Playwave - gauge http://www.bayern.de/lfw/hnd (ideal between 200 and 280cm)

val sesia

Posted: Sun May 16, 2004 10:33 am
by kayakjames
I was on the same trip as dr. Robin so my experiances are identical to his .

Would definitely recomend it .

Vercaszca

Posted: Sun May 16, 2004 11:39 am
by philcarrivick
" Vercaszca in Switzerland, clearest / cleanest water anywhere."

anyone know of where I can find more info about this one - remembering it looking sweet from many subtitles on posters.

preferably in english :-)

Phil

verzasca

Posted: Mon May 17, 2004 10:07 am
by roo
www.kanubern.ch/wildwasse.../sudch.htm

couldn't do english, but you can always try one of those highly amusing translation thingies.

Anyway, I find the numbers translate quite nicely!

verzasca

Posted: Mon May 17, 2004 10:12 am
by roo
Oops should have logged in.

Mai = May
Juni = June

IV, V = 4, 5. (grade obviously)

etc, etc.

An excellent site that also has links to waterlevels somewhere......

val sesia photos

Posted: Mon May 17, 2004 12:31 pm
by kayakjames
a few more photos from our trip can be seen here :

www.su.nott.ac.uk/canoe/P...c%20Italy/

val sesia

Posted: Tue May 25, 2004 11:36 pm
by Yonfan
Just got back from a trip to val sesia. High levels due to warm weather. A great week's paddling. Check out some photos at www.cheltenhamcanoeclub.com

Posted: Sun Sep 19, 2004 2:47 pm
by Mark R
Just a note to say, I haven't forgotten the useful notes above...they are going on the site today.

Hope that's okay.

Re: val sesia

Posted: Sun Sep 19, 2004 7:42 pm
by Simon Westgarth
guidebook wrote:Great stuff, really helpful.

I once asked a well-known proboater type who runs trips out there for info, his helpful suggestion was 'buy one of my trips'.


-----------Mark Rainsley



Indeed Mark that was my answer, still if you or anyone turn up with a Piemonte Map down the Dart this winter I will highlight the highlights, over a beer or two, your shout of cause.



The area is extentive, much more so than the Briancon area, yet the location is for Advanced & Expert paddlers. The Sesia Gorge & lower sesia are NOT typical of the area. Both West of and north of the Valsesia area there are numerous runs, all on Steep Whitewater.



I reamin relucant to depart too info, as I may wish to construct a Guide book and have an obvious interest in developing the area as a Gene17kayaking destination. Also the location would get a repulation like Norway for being hard and beating people and put people off coming. The Piemonte is Steep, Norway is Steep & powerful.



Extensive footage of the Piemonte will be in Genes Sdvanced White Water Technique, plus prebably a rough guide to the area in soe paddling mag in the new year.



There are guides tot he area, both in Germen written by Gert Spikler.



Note that May is best, April is often too Cold as the watershed is up near 3-4000m, and if the snow lasts!! the season can go on until June. This year it lasted until June 10th, and last year May 20th!! Also Easter would normally be a shot time to go, especially next year as Easter is in Late March, good for Skiing in Valsesia then!!!!



Sion Westgarth

Gene17kayaking.com

Posted: Sun Sep 19, 2004 7:58 pm
by Mark R
Herr Westgarth, I'll look forward to your italy beta.

How was British Columbia this summer? Did you get the Ashlu River done? I ask because we ran away crying after 300 metres on it.

BC

Posted: Sun Sep 19, 2004 8:33 pm
by Simon Westgarth
guidebook wrote:Herr Westgarth, I'll look forward to your italy beta.

How was British Columbia this summer? Did you get the Ashlu River done? I ask because we ran away crying after 300 metres on it.
My BC Summer was full of low water in the west kookanies, high water in the east kookanies, forest fires on the Stien and unfriendly indians on Rogers Creek, still it was a good trip, and unfortunately we did not do the Ashlu, the lower canyon was too high. The Runderford is now unrunable as the hydro project is online.

Posted: Sun Sep 19, 2004 10:16 pm
by kevinf
Ah the famous Drunk Indian of Rogers creek. Apparently he has a habit of burning kayakers cars. We were put off by other paddlers. It is a shame as those waterfalls look great fun.

I though the hydro scheme on Rutherfud was wrecked after the massive floods that washed away the road bridge. What about Callahan, Soo and cheakamus?

Posted: Sun Sep 19, 2004 10:42 pm
by Simon Westgarth
kevinf wrote:Ah the famous Drunk Indian of Rogers creek. Apparently he has a habit of burning kayakers cars. We were put off by other paddlers. It is a shame as those waterfalls are to great fun.

I though the hydro scheme on Rutherfud was wrecked after the massive floods that washed away the road bridge. What about Callahan, Soo and cheakamus?
The Indian was trying to tow my rental car after we inspected the water level at the triple falls, so we went back to the Hot Springs instead. These drops look great though, its a shame, especially as th elocal indian nation have a land claim on th earea and do not want any paddlers up there!!

The Rutherford plant has been rebuilt and was online!! The WW course had not yet been completed. The Cleak had changed alot at the putin, instead of going around a swiping wide LH bend it now cuts those the old island with 5m ugly drop, trees and all!!

The Soo had also changed and was crazy high, 43'C meant that the Glaciers were getting smaller quickly!!